Tuesday, February 7, 2012

how long were your visits and the frequency?

Our birthmother has visited every other day for the past week. Yesterday she visited for 5 hours! Unfortunately she kept rousing the baby which then the nurses score her down and means she stays here longer. I asked when she would be back and she said she thought Wednesday. She couldn't give a time so I didn't bother to ask for how long. HELP I want an open adoption but being alone in an unfamiliar city her visits are stressing me out! Am I crazy to think she might be changing her mind? Should I try to transport her to our state? I also feel like I'm becoming the social worker this agency here does not provide. Mom really could use support but I don't have the energy to support her and the baby. I get the feeling she is ready for her to go... Maybe bm feels obligated to visit since she is still here (the bm has a great deal of work to do to take care of herself and her two other children)


  1. Are you now the baby's legal parents? Or is there a revocation period? If she's signed the TPR, but her rights haven't been terminated by the court, then I believe, legally, she's still the baby's mother and can do whatever she wants.

    You're right that you need to find a social worker, pronto. Ask the hospital if they know of any. The hospital should have a social worker on staff, but it's been my experience that hospital SWs aren't necessarily pro-adoption. If you have to, Google or use the Yellow Pages to find an adoption social worker.

    You can't take the baby out of state until ICPC has cleared the state the baby is currently in. You can't go back to your state until ICPC has cleared your state. If you try, you risk voiding the adoption. (I looked it up because I was going crazy in Louisiana.)

    We visited 3 times with Cassie's birthmother, all after the TPR was signed and accepted. We didn't visit with her at all between the hospital discharge and the day after TPR.

    Similarly, we visited with Jackson's birthmother about 3 or 4 times, all after TPR was signed and accepted.

    If you'd like to email me privately and vent, please do. robyn at a l u m n i dot c m u dot e d u

    BTW: A lot of birthmothers don't like the initials "bm" to be used as an abbreviation. The preferred abbreviation is "bmom". Not being judgmental, just letting you know.

  2. Have you had a chance to talk to the social worker at the hospital? I'm pretty sure all hospitals have someone on their staff-- maybe ask to speak to the SW-- but beware, most will side with the BM.

    Each adoption is different... and being in the hospital is an added part to your unique situation. I think being in the hospital is kinda neutral territory... BM birthed her there, and you're now there too. She (BM) might feel obligated to be there as long as the baby is there- doesn't mean she's changing her mind.

    Has she signed over her parental rights? Do you have temporary custody (we had TC until the revocation period was up-- in MI it's 30 days). C (Gus's BM) signed over her rights at the hospital the day after he was born-- our attorney was there and so was the hospital social worker.

    Are you with the BM when she visits? Maybe you could talk to the hospital staff and ask for no visitors... that way your baby has time to heal and come home sooner.

    It's definitely a tricky situation... you don't want to hurt the BM's feelings, but you also need time to bond and figure parenting out yourselves.

    My advice:
    1) Talk to the staff about a no-visitors policy
    2) Tell BM that you're going to have a few days without any visitors and let her know when she can come back
    3) See about getting the hospital social worker to help (if you think it's the right thing to do)

    Honestly, I don't know how long the risk period is in PA... so really, until that period is up, you're going to feel uncertain. It's a "damned if you do/damned if you don't" kinda deal... just do what you'd want done if you were the BM.

    She needs to know that her baby is in good hands, that she made the right decision, and, being that you live out of state, she knows that soon enough she WON'T be able to see her baby... that's hard. So that's probably part of the deal too... she's getting in as many hours as she can before you leave the state.

    You can email me (catwalkerga@gmail.com) if you ever want to talk!!! I'm not in your situation and can't begin to say what to do, but I am here to listen and give suggestions!!!

    HUGS MAMA!!!!

  3. I flew out from MI to CA and was with our baby in the hospital for a week (he was being treated with IV antibiotics for possible strep B). Birth mom and grandma would show up every day or two. What stressed me most was that I had NO notice. I was stuck sleeping in a vinyl chair next to his crib...in a room with three other new moms...across the country from my family...Now it is a distant memory, but at the time I was almost brought to tears. I did use the time to gather lots of pictures and info. for my son.

  4. Don't worry about that she might be wanting to change her mind. That sounds so normal to be thinking that from everything we learned at training. They told us that many moms think that and the birthmoms are worried about what we are thinking. I'm sorry your agency doesn't have support for her and you for this! That stinks.